Close your eyes for a moment, and imagine your life in 5 years. (If you are reading this, your eyes are still open. Yes, close them, and dream for a moment.) Imagine life in 10 years. What about 20 years? Retirement and beyond?
That vision you just had is key to achieve your dreams. Without vision, you won’t know what you want, and you won’t know what you are shooting for. Vision creates inspiration and gives you the drive to make it through your year, your month, or even your day. Your vision is your carrot. Now be like a donkey and follow that carrot!
As you start to develop your vision, break it down by time frame. This helps you segment your vision into manageable pieces, and will help you build a plan. Think about how you see your life (overall, not just financially) during these time frames:
Now to the next 5 years
6 years to 15 years
15 years to 25 years
25 years and on
A few questions to ask yourself and ignite the thinking process:
- What do you see yourself doing for work over the next 10 years?
- Where do you see yourself living in the next 20 years? Will you be buying a house or a second house?
- Do you plan on getting married and having children? Will you send your kids to college?
- When do you want to retire, or at least not be financially dependent on a job for income?
- What do you like to do for fun and pleasure? Where are your travels going to take you?
Now that you’ve given it thought, write it down. Verbalizing it makes it real. You are probably asking yourself, “What if my life changes and my goals change? Should I still write them down?” Don’t worry. Life happens, and you may change some of these goals. However, for the time being, these are your visions. Write them down to make them real. Also, there may be time frames that you haven’t given thought to, or the vision hasn’t developed. That’s ok. It may just be a continuation of the visions you have already established.
Of the goals you have written down, highlight the most important short-term goal, the most important medium-term goal, and most important long-term goal. Also, ask yourself what is the single most important financial objective for you at this time. This will hone in your vision and help you develop a plan.
A plan? That’s right, a plan. Now since you know where you are going, we just have to figure out the route to get there. Check in next time, and we will discuss designing your roadmap to wealth.
Dustin S. Ma is an independent financial adviser and president of LampPost Planning. He based out of the Bay Area, CA, and can be contacted at (510) 488-3634, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 2010 Crow Canyon Place, Suite 100, #404, San Ramon, CA 94583.
These are the opinions of Dustin S. Ma and are for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed or acted upon as individual investment advice. Please contact your financial professional to discuss these topics. Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge Investment Research, Inc, LampPost Planning, and shesgotgrove.com are not affiliated entities.
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